Untouchables: It's thought that there aren't any untouchable players in the system, although Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald and Lou Marson come very close to being untouchable. The Phillies would have to feel very good about the player that they would receive in return if they were to put any of the "three musketeers" in a deal for a veteran player. The only name out there on the trade market right now that might make one of these three touchable is Jake Peavey, and the Phillies haven't been mentioned in connection with any talks to acquire the former Cy Young winner.
Nearly Untouchable: In this class of prospect you'd have to put names like J.A. Happ and possibly add players like Dominic Brown, Travis D'Arnaud and Michael Taylor. The Phillies would be hard-pressed to include any of these players in a deal, but it's not out of the question that they would consider including one in the right deal. For instance, the White Sox are asking for a player out of the untouchable category for Jermaine Dye, while the Phillies would only be likely to go as high as including one of these three in a deal.
Tough To Touch: This class of player could be had, but the Phillies would rather not deal any of them and they certainly don't want to deal too many of them. Having said that though, these are the guys that the Phillies would most likely have to bend on, since they're good enough prospects that other teams are very interested in getting them, but yet are guys that the Phillies ultimately could afford to deal. Put players like Antonio Bastardo, Andrew Carpenter, Kyle Drabek, Edgar Garcia, Travis Mattair, Drew Naylor and Joe Savery in this group. The Phillies like all of these players and can see them fitting into their big league ball club in the not-too-distant future, but they would put them in a deal if it makes sense. Bastardo, Garcia and Naylor took some big steps this season and are all considered quality pitching prospects. Savery and Carpenter had tough times this season, but both have everything they need to rebound in 2009 and would be tough to send elsewhere, because the Phillies might not get their fair value in return. Drabek is coming off Tommy John surgery, but threw well late in the year and during the off-season, giving reason to believe that he's going to be okay and that the injury will be nothing more than a relatively small setback for him. The Phillies will be looking for help at third base, so it would be tough to include Travis Mattair in a deal, but other teams are going to be interested in getting him if possible. Some believe that Naylor and Savery could go into the nearly untouchable class.
Trade Bait Prospects: There are still plenty of prospects in the Phillies organization who are going to draw interest and the Phillies would deal. Jason Jaramillo comes to mind. He's still a decent prospect at a position that's tough and important to fill, but the Phillies are happy with Carlos Ruiz and have Lou Marson right on his heels. Plus, there's D'Arnaud and Sebastian Valle coming along lower in the minors, making Jaramillo a piece to be dangled. Quintin Berry has lots of speed and plenty of talent. Speed is starting to make a bit of a comeback in baseball and Berry has shown enough to interest some teams in making a move for him. Freddy Galvis hasn't shown much at the plate, but he's a talented shortstop prospect and teams are always looking for players like him to add to their organization. He just turned 19 last month and finished his first full-season stint with Lakewood this past season, so he's a projectable type player who could be dealt. Sergio Escalona and Tyson Brummett are two pitchers who could be in a spot to truly start jumping up the list of Phillies prospects and both could be attractive to other clubs. Players like Escalona and Brummett could easily move to the tough to touch or even the nearly untouchable categories by this time next year, so clubs would do well to get them now.
It's going to be interesting to see how Ruben Amaro handles prospects. For years, the Phillies were very slow to give up any prospects in deals and always sought to get at least a marginal prospect thrown into a deal when they traded away a veteran player. Under Pat Gillick, that policy became much looser and they started to put quality prospects like Adrian Cardenas and Michael Spencer into deals. It's unclear how Amaro is going to use his farm system, but it's very likely that he's going to need to move one or two prospects that it will hurt to lose in an effort to repeat as World Series or even division champions in 2009.